National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters
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The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (trading as NAATI) is the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia. It is the only agency that issues accreditations for practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia. The company is jointly owned by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments of Australia.
NAATI's primary purpose is to strengthen inclusion and participation in Australian society by assisting in meeting its diverse and changing communication needs and expectations, through:
- setting, maintaining and promoting high national standards in translating and interpreting
- implementing a national quality-assurance system for credentialing practitioners that meet those standards
Types of Accreditation
- Advanced Translator (Senior)
- Conference Interpreter (Senior)
- Advanced Translator
- Conference Interpreter
- Professional Translator
- Professional Interpreter
- Paraprofessional Translator
- Paraprofessional Interpreter
Why is NAATI Accreditation Important in Australia
NAATI is the body responsible for setting and monitoring the standards for the translating and interpreting profession in Australia. It does this through its system of accreditation.
NAATI accreditation is the only credential officially accepted by employers for the profession of translation and interpreting in Australia. NAATI Accreditation may be obtained in five ways:
- Passing a NAATI accreditation test
- Successful completion of a course of studies in translation and/or interpreting at an Australian institution as approved by NAATI
- Providing evidence of a specialised tertiary qualifications in translation and/or interpreting obtained from an educational institution overseas
- Providing evidence of a membership of a recognised international translating and/or interpreting professional association
- Providing evidence of advanced standing in translating or interpreting.
There are two other categories of credential awarded by NAATI:
1. 'Language Aide' - a bilingual credential not an interpreter or translator credential
2. 'Recognition' - only granted in languages that NAATI does not offer accreditation testing in and has no specification of a level of proficiency attached to it
NAATI publishes a quarterly newsletter for people to keep abreast of what is happening within NAATI and the Australian translating and interpreting community, as well as a number of publications and products designed to aid end users of translators and interpreters. Many government departments in Australia require identity and other documents in a Language Other Than English (LOTE) to be translated by a NAATI accredited translator. Translators and interpreters who hold NAATI accreditation can be found through the online Practitioners Directory.
Training and Workshops
NAATI offices in all states and territories of Australia run various workshops for candidates in order to assist them in successfully obtaining their accreditation, and cover such topics as:
- Insights into interpreting
- Ethics and professional conduct
- Note taking
- Basic interpreting and translating techniques
- Test preparation
NAATI tests on an on-demand basis. In order to be eligible for a test, candidates must meet a number of eligibility criteria based on the test level for which they are applying for. At the Paraprofessional level the criteria include having general education equivalent to at least 4 years of Australian secondary school and proficiency in both languages. At the Professional level the criteria to be eligible include general education to degree or diploma level in any field and/or NAATI accreditation as a Paraprofessional Interpreter in the language they are seeking accreditation (at the Professional Interpreter and Translator levels).
Accreditation at the levels of Conference Interpreter, Advanced Translator (Senior) and Conference Interpreter (Senior) is currently unavailable through the testing method. Accreditation testing at the Advanced Translator level is available in only a limited number of languages.
NAATI Accreditation testing
All accreditation tests involve English and a Language Other Than English (LOTE). Accreditation testing is currently available in the following LOTE's:
Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Auslan, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cantonese, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dari, Dinka, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hakka (interpreter only), Hazaragi, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Mandarin, Nepali, Nuer, Oromo, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushto, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Tetum (interpreter only), Thai, Tigrinya, Tongan, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese.